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Bava Basra 22

BAVA BASRA 20-25 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for the Torah and for those who study it.



(a) Ezra instituted that peddlers should travel from town to town selling women's trinkets ... . as we just explained. He restricted this Takanah however - to selling from house to house, but not open a store.

(b) Rava nevertheless permitted Rebbi Yashiyah and Rav Ovadyah even to open a store in Mechuza (even though it did not conform with Halachah) - because they were Talmidei-Chachamim, and house to house sales would involve Bitul-Torah on their part.

(c) And Ravina authorized those basket-sellers (or pot-sellers) to sell their wares in Bavel, in spite of the locals' objections - on the grounds that they came from out-of-town, and they were selling to people from out-of-town.

(d) He only permitted this however, on market-day. He restricted this however - to welling their wares in the market-place, but not to doing so from house to house.

(a) When Rav Kahana, following complaints from the local residents, forbade those wool-merchants to sell their wool in Pum-Nahara - they replied that they had already sold their wool on credit and needed to collect their debts.

(b) He issued a ruling - permitting them to sell sufficient wool to enable them to cover their needs until they had collected their debts (but not a moment longer).

(a) When the Resh Galusa heard that Rav Dimi from Neherda'a was coming to sell his died figs, he instructed Rava to find out whether he was a Talmid-Chacham, and if he was, to give him the authority to sell his goods first.

(b) Rava sent Rav Ada bar Aba to test him. 'Tehi Bei be'Kankaneih' mean literally - smell the jar (to determine whether the wine is good or not).

(c) Rav Ada was unable however, to answer the She'eilah that Rav Ada asked him - namely, whether, if an elephant swallowed a wickerwork basket and subsequently let it out as droppings, it is considered digested (in which case it is no longer subject to Tum'ah), or not.

(a) When Rav Dimi asked him whether he was Rava, he replied - that although he personally was far from the level of Rava, he (Rav Ada) was his (Rav Dimi's) Rebbe, and Rava was his Rebbe. What did he do to demonstrate that he did not consider him significant.

(b) Rav Dimi come before Rav Yosef - following Rav Ada's refusal to grant him the right to sell his goods first, to complain of the bad treatment that he had received.

(c) Rav Yosef reacted to Rav Dimi's complaint by quoting the Pasuk which describes how Hashem did not Moav's fourth sin of burning the King of Edom's bones to lime, in order to humiliate him.

(d) And if He took the part of the King of Edom, He would certainly take his (Rav Dimi from Neherda'a's) part.

(a) When Rav Ada bar Aba died, many Amora'im claimed that he had died because of them (see Tosfos DH 'Ana'). We can easily understand why Rav Yosef and Rav Dimi from Neherda'a attributed his death to themselves. Rava claimed responsibility for Rav Ada's death - because when the latter would go to buy meat at the butcher, he would claim precedence over Rava's Shamash, since he insisted that he was superior to Rava.

(b) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak too, claimed that he was responsible for Rav Ada's death. Their relationship - was based on their daily learning session, where Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak would revise his D'rashah with him before delivering it to the public.

(c) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak was once late for the D'rashah because he was waiting for Rav Ada in order to revise it with him first. The latter was delayed however - by Rav Papa and Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua,who were asking him for details of Rava's Shiur on Ma'aser Beheimah, which, for some reason, they had not attended.

(d) When the Talmidim asked Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak why he was late for the D'rashah, he replied - that he was waiting for Rav Rav Ada's coffin to arrive.

(e) We finally pin the responsibility for Rav Ada bar Aba's death - on Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak.

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah demands - four Amos between two walls (what exactly the Tana means will be explains shortly).

(b) The Tana also requires Reuven's wall to be at least four Amos away from Shimon's window - incorporating higher than the windows, lower than them, and four Amos away horizontally (as we learned in the dirst Perek).

(c) Shimon's windows have been in existence for - at least three years, for this requirement to take effect.




(a) The Tana's statement 'Mi she'Hayah Koslo Samuch le'Kosel shel Chavero, Lo Yismoch Lo Kosel Acher Ela-im-Kein Hirchik Mimenu Arba Amos' is obviously erroneous - because who permitted Reuven to build the *first* wall within four Amos of Shimon's?

(b) Why is Rav Yehudah's suggestion that the Tana is really coming to prohibit Reuven from building a wall within four Amos of Shimon's existing one is unacceptable - because from the Tana's words it is clear that there was a wall there before, and that he is speaking about a second one?

(c) So Rava interprets the Tana's words to mean - that if Reuven's original wall that fell was four Amos away from Shimon's, he must rebuild it not less than four Amos away from Shimon's.

(d) The reason for this is - that four Amos allow easy access to people to walk between the two walls, and the constant treading strengthens the walls (a Chazakah which Shimon has a right to demand).

(a) Rav restricts the four-Amah gap between the walls to walls of vegetable-gardens (where people do not tend to walk much); walls of Chatzeros, he maintains, do not need it - because people walk on the other side anyway.

(b) Rebbi Hoshaya - requires a gap of four Amos even between walls of Chatzeros.

(c) In fact they do not argue, says Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina - because Rebbi Hoshaya is referring to Chatzeros of a new city, which have not yet been trodden in (to which Rav concedes).

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Reuven's wall must be at least four Amos higher than all the windows, to prevent the owner of the wall from leaning on his wall and peeping into Shimon's window, or four Amos lower, to prevent him from standing on the wall and doing the same, as the Beraisa explains. And the reason for the Mishnah's ruling that Reuven distances his wall from Shimon's, says the Tana of the Beraisa is - to prevent him from blocking Shimon's light.

(b) We can infer from this - that the distance between the two walls is purely a matter of light (and not of treading the earth in between, as we just learned).

(c) We resolve this apparent discrepancy - by establishing this Mishnah by an adjacent wall, rather than a parallel one (in which case it is only the corner where the two walls meet that would need to be trodden (too small an area to warrant an enforcement of this law).

(d) Rav Yeiva the father-in-law of Ashi'an quoting Rav requires the edge of Reuven's wall to be - a distance of at least the width of the window from Shimon's window.

(a) If the wall is as close to the window as that, we are faced with the problem of Hezek Re'iyah (caused by Reuven's ability to use the top of his wall to peep into Shimon's window), with which Rav Z'vid dispenses - by requiring Reuven to slant his wall at the top, bringing it to a point, which prevents him from either standing on it or leaning against it.

(b) We reconcile Rav Yeiva's Shiur of 'the width of the window' with our Mishnah which actually gives the distance as four Amos (see Tosfos DH 've'Ha Anan T'nan') - by establishing the former by one wall, whereas the latter speaks about where Reuven builds two walls adjacent to Shimon's window (where the Rabbanan were more stringent (see Rabeinu Gershom).

(a) We are about to learn the Mishnah which requires Reuven to build his wall four Amos from Shimon's gutter - so that Shimon should have room to place his ladder against the gutter and climb up ...

(b) ... a Kashya on Rava (who attributes the Shiur of four Amos to 'Davsha' (walking in that area and hardening the ground).

(c) To accommodate Rava - we therefore establish the Mishnah by a gutter that is attached to a sloping roof, that protrudes from the wall of the house, leaving four Amos underneath it for walking.

(d) Our Mishnah (the same one that we just quoted) requires Reuven to place his ladder (next to the wall of the Chatzer) not less than four Amos away from Shimon's dovecote - for fear that a marten might use it to jump at the doves in the dovecote.

(a) When we suggest that the author of our Mishnah cannot be Rebbi Yossi, we are referring to - the opinion of Rebbi Yossi 'al ha'Nizak Leharchik es Atzmo min ha'Mazik', which permits the Mazik to do as he pleases in his own domain (as we discussed above).

(b) To answer this Kashya, Rav Ashi in the name of Rav Kahana, explains that Rebbi Yossi agrees with the Chachamim by 'Girei Dilei', by which he means - that if the damage is done simultaneously with the placing of the damaging article, Rebbi Yossi concedes that the Mazik is the one who must move away, because it is as if his arrows were causing the damage.

(c) 'The case of the ladder is considered 'Girei Dilei' - because sometimes, the marten is hiding in a hole in the wall, and as Reuven is still placing the ladder, it pounces.

(d) Considering that Reuven did not actually throw the marten, and this is surely no more than G'rama be'Nizakin, Rav Tuvi bar Masni extrapolate from our Mishnah - that 'G'rama be Nizakin (or Garmi, even according to those who exempt Garmi from payment), is Patur.

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